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WELCOME TO THE SUPERSONIC ZINE With our annual festival fast approaching, this Capsule zine is dedicated to all things Supersonic. Each year we have a right old knees up, bringing you some of the most exciting music around, along with a film programme, workshops, exhibitions and a carefully deliberated cake menu. So in this zine we’ll give you a little snapshot of some of the things planned for this year’s Supersonic Festival along with festival memories and lovely illustrations from some of the many people who responded to our artwork call out. The event takes place 21-23 October 2011 at Custard Factory, Birmingham – but for now have a little gander at some of the highlights on the Supersonic cards… The Capsule Team X Zine design and layout by Ross Cotton

Illustration by Lee Mason

Illustration by Kieran Wakeman

Ross Cotton’s guide t TEETH OF THE SEA Providing film scoring reminiscent to Goblin, with atmospheric horns and drones, building to chaotic Egyptian delights and electronic anxiety. Those with a nervous disposition are likely to be lulled into a false sense of security with trippy/spiritual enchantments, and then bulldozed down with draining drum thuds and heart-racing guitars. Check out Hypnoticon and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

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With fusions of the tribal world and psychedelic journeys, William Bennett's project takes you into the heart of a completely unique culture. His use of traditional Ghanaian percussion give off a powerful warmth, in the formation of industrial hallucinations, while the rustic implications are felt vibrating between your toes. Definitely for fans of Nurse with Wound.


An explosive act who return to Supersonic after performing in 2006. The two-piece space-rockers will have you thumping along to those thrill-riding beats, as they dramatically build eighties synth sounds against hard rock drumming. Their clinical progressive patterns give way to manic chases, soundtracking a robotic pursuit. Forget Terminator or Tron, the ultimate sci-fi tensions are weaved into Zombi's euphoric dance beats. A duo who will definitely entrance fans of Kraftwerk.

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The French solo violinist’s combination of soaring string tensions and distortions relish in both agony and beauty, as she builds gazing hums for a day dreaming audience. Leaving no spaces unfilled, Agathe's often lively, often mournful bow-drawings bask in traditional folk and minimal ambience, soundscaping personal feelings and imagery.


Illustrations by Stefania Osk Omarsdottir

If insanity and wit are something that pump you with adrenalin, a.P.A.t.T. are an act that you won't want to miss. Taking Cardiacs lunacy and enhancing it by one hundred times, you'll find it hard to guess what will happen next, as they transform jazz and ska melodies into thrash metal, all the way back to comedic indie. It'll be impossible for you to take your eyes off one band member, let alone seven!


Manipulating electronic beats, artist Carsten Nicolai composes rhythmic structures that'll leave you in a dancing frenzy. His processed glitches ooze out electrocutional waves, giving off cryptic transmissions of alien disarray. A sound and visual artist not to be missed, Noto's creative chaos sees sound colour flashes, accompanying the mayhem of sampled fax machines, telephones and modems. Fans of Autechre will not be disappointed.

Simon Fowler London based illustrationist and

printmaker Simon Fowler has been commissioned to design a poster for this years festival. Previously creating pen and ink works for the likes of Earth and Sunn O))), Simon returns to Supersonic after debuting his art in 2010 at the From Light to Dark exhibition. “[Last year] was the first time I attended Supersonic”, says Simon. “It's the festival I've enjoyed the most, because it's curated by people who really care about what they're doing. I've met so many people; it's just an incredibly well crafted event”. Simon has developed a creative relationship with previous festival performers, dubpsych duo Devilman. “Within a year, I'm 80% of the way through the artwork for their album”, says Simon. “It's an idea that I had a long time ago and it fits perfectly with their music. It's nice to be crossing genres and not just being pigeonholed in metal or doom”, he says. Fowler's analogue artwork is well and truly rooted with contemporary musicians. “I've been working with Stephen O'Malley since 2009, he's one of my main collaborae

e tors,” explains Simon. That's knocked on into doing stuff for Earth. I did the artwork for the reissue of their first album last year, and I'm working on a poster for Wolves in the Throne Room at the moment. I was given a brief a couple of weeks ago from them. I haven't actually heard the album, so it'll be interesting to see their performance [at the festival] against what I've created”. “A lot of people try to describe my work as being dark, but I don't necessarily see it like that”, says Simon. “I think it's more expansive, and maybe its just the music it's associated with; connotations of darkness. It’s quite natural, reflecting natural environments and the detail that's in those environments”. Simon continues, “taking something that could be industrial on the surface, quite ugly, but if you really analyse all of the individual elements, you kind of see the beauty and geometry within that”. Check out Simon Fowler's poster design at the festival, and make sure you bring an extra bit of cash for a print! By Ross Cotton Illustration by Simon Fowler Simon Fowler is looking forward to: “Fire! with Oren Ambarchi (it looks pretty eclectic!), Tony Conrad, Cloaks and Scorn”.

Lash Frenzy

Illustration by Jimbob Isaac

Andrew Moscardo-Parker is probably better known

as Lash Frenzy, a noise/sound artist who has collaborated with a variety of different musicians including KK Null. This year, Andrew returns to perform a 24 hour piece with Dusseldorf-based artist Christian Jendreiko (God's White Noise) at Eastside Projects. “It'll be interesting to see what the audience get from it”, says Andrew. “Unless they come and sit for 24 hours, they'll get a sample of something. If they don't want to go home on the Saturday night, they can come in and sleep and then get up on the Sunday, because it'll be open”. Christian and Andrew's sound styles are completely different, meaning that the project will definitely be an unusual one. “I'm all about constant sounds and fullness, loss of narrative and making time irrelevant”, says Andrew. “Whereas Christian's work is more broken, sporadic and structured”. “It's important that everybody is focused within the performance. So whenever someone gets tired, they've got to stop playing. You can have breaks, because otherwise, it becomes an endurance test and it's not about endurance, it's about a length of time”, he says. And what are Andrew's plans for the future? “I'm looking at releasing the longest song ever and getting in the Guinness Book of Records”. Make sure you catch Lash Frenzy & Christian Jendreiko's collaboration at Eastside Projects.

Andrew Moscardo-Parker is looking forward to: “Wolves in the Throne Room, (I only just got into them and I'd love to collaborate) and Tony Conrad.

By Ross Cotton

ore Sam Underwood is a familiar face to the Supersonic stage, after performing in various guises including the manic-acid-circuit-bending Glatze, and the more delicate, electro/acoustic Mr Underwood. This year sees Sam returning as one-third of drone doom tuba band Ore. Along with Ben Waddington and Stuart Estell, the trio have developed a heavy metal sound, featuring tubas at its core.

“Ore was an idea that me and Ben had in a pub, quite some time ago now”, says Sam. “We spotted the potential and we wanted to take the bass end, very heavy slow riffs. But when it involves two out of three of you learning to play tubas from scratch, that's quite an epic task”, he says. “Basically Stuart Estell is the only person who's an accomplished tuba player at the moment. He’s also heavily into doom metal, which was key. It really required someone open-minded enough to embrace the concept. He's writing the pieces as I'm learning how to play”. Sam’s tuba-playing journey began at last year’s Supersonic with Lash Frenzy. “That was the first time I did the tuba stuff live. It was an improvised noise gig, and I was playing it through some effects pedals and a massive bass amp. I couldn't play but I could make some interesting noises”, he says.



The whole idea of Ore seems to reflect the industrial past of Birmingham magnificently. “It has it's influences in all of that”, says Sam. “Obviously [the tuba] is a massive great lump of metal for one thing, they're a very physical thing to play”. “We aim to create epic experiences, where people come along and are wowed by the scale, the sound and the sense of witnessing something totally new”, he says. “It's a luscious, heavy epic vibe”. Don't miss Ore and their blend of heavy doom tubas as part of this year’s line-up. It's sure to be astounding.

Sam Underwood is looking forward to: “Secret Chiefs 3 (I really like the mix of influences they bring to bear), ZU93, Fire! With Oren Ambarchi, Tony Conrad, Pekko Kappi and Alva Noto”.

By Ross Cotton

“When I think about Supersonic, for me it’s a global festival, not UK or even a European level. It’s global, like Roadburn, Sonar and Coachella”. Juan, Staf. Magazine.

“It’s the only festival that keeps getting it right year in, year out. For crucial, cutting-edge underground rock, metal and experimental music, there’s simply no other festival quite like it”. Vuk Volcic, ROCK-A-ROLLA. “The music at Supersonic has got darker over the years, which is good in my book. And the audience has been unbelievably open mended to different sounds and approaches”. John Richards, Dirty Electronics.

“My ultimate fave: 2010 Pierre Bastien with his marvelous miniature mechanized music machine... why? meccano... no further explanation necessary!”. Laurence Hunt, Pram/Modified Toy Orchestra.

-What have been your ultimate favourite performances? “Earthless, Zu & Iron Lung two years ago. It was a trip with nailed feet. Monotonix were incredible also”. Juan, Staf. Magazine.

-Which acts are you looking forward to most in this year's line-up, and why? “Zombi, Zu93, WITTR, White Hills, Circle, Fire!, Barn Owl and The Skull Defekts are all particularly unmissable. Secret Chiefs 3 should be every festivalgoer’s top priority”. Vuk Volcic, ROCK-A-ROLLA.

“if you don't go to this festival you will never get to the next base... sonically speaking!” Laurence Hunt, Pram/Modified Toy Orchestra.

Illustration by David Hand


DIRTY ELECTRONICS: MUTE SYNTH WORKSHOP -What was your inspiration to create Dirty Electronics? It was really about doing stuff together, creating electronic music that does not revolve around the individual. And the process of getting the hands dirty, creating things to make sound. -How did you become interested in the Mute Synth? I have been exploring for a while now the idea of a workshop as more a form of public artwork together. Printed circuit boards, like the Mute Synth, sped-up the process of building collectively. I had seen the Cracklebox developed at STEIM, Amsterdam and thought a lot more could be done with the sound and graphical touch pads. My connection with Mute goes back to 1997. I was in a post-punk group called Sand and Daniel Miller came to one of our first few gigs. Sand later signed a publishing deal with Mute. Last year Dirty Electronics did an event at the Electrowerks in London and I was approached about being involved in the Mute Weekender as part of Short Circuit at the Roundhouse, London. It took about eight months to plan the event and design the Mute Synth. -What do you expect people to take away from your workshop performance? I would like to provide a blueprint for other people to make music. Then there is the social dimension. Taking part in a Dirty Electronics event is an opportunity to meet people from a variety of artistic backgrounds.

By Ross Cotton Illustration by Aradhana Mehmi

John Richards is looking forward to: “Tony Conrad. Silver Apples are also high on my list of must see�.

ARTIST Q&As 1. Which five words describe what you know about Supersonic? Alexander Tucker: Sonic, hairy, friendly, psych, people! Zombi: Eclectic, hospitable, punctual, loud, fun. Kogumaza: I think I’ve gone deaf. Part Chimp: Harvey Milk Birmingham Dirty Burgers.

2. What can people expect of your set at the festival? Alexander Tucker: The set will include hairy yeti beings, fog, mind-bending electronics and astral projections. Teeth of the Sea (Mike): Hair raising, teeth grinding, ear bleeding, knob twiddling, move busting, figure hugging, fist pumping, face melting, load blowing, psyche fucking rock. Slabdragger: A lot of massive, driving, noisy riffs that your mum would not like very much. Kogumaza: My friend Hoppy said we were like a hot bath for his ears so I’ll go with that. A hot, never-ending bath made of fuzz and echo. Backwards: Drunk songs for the drunk, music for young lovers, music for fuckers, music to polish brass to.


Why make music – what does it do for you that

nothing else does? Alexander Tucker: I make music to illuminate the inner being, escape the doom, conjure up the almighty spirit and to communicate with my fellow human beings. Part Chimp: It’s a team version of primal scream therapy. Nathan Bell: Because music is a gift and to truly appreciate e

e this gift then one should be able to submit, to channel it thru. Music is medicine, medicine is music. Soul food for the brain. It closes two eyes to open the third.

4. Who else on the bill are you hoping to see?


why?) Teeth of the Sea (Jimmy): I’m pretty excited about withstanding Astro’s cosmic assault, but there’s literally nobody on the bill I wouldn’t pay to go and see at their own show. Plus Electric Wizard as headliners are going to be one unholy rite. Kogumaza: Looking forward to seeing Skull Defekts and Part Chimp. Supersonic’s always been about surprises as well though, so I’m hoping the best thing on the bill is something I’ve never heard of before. Oren Ambarchi: Totally psyched to see Cut Hands. I’m a huge Whitehouse/Bennett fan, I love the way he’s fused this ecstatic trance inducing voodou vibe with noise. Alexander Tucker: Bardo Pond because they are the best band in the world.

5. Finally, your essential ‘surviving-Supersonic’ items are… Oren Ambarchi: Melatonin, ear-plugs, finding a decent restaurant and a good single-malt. Part Chimp: Earplugs, spare earplugs, the green cross code, & the paperback of “how black was our sabbath”. Backwards: A monogrammed handkerchief, and a selection of fine ciders. By David Armes Illustrations by Sharan Dhaliwal

Film Previews KILL ALL REDNECK PRICKS: KARP LIVES 199o-1998 The biography of a friendship. Set in the Pacific Northwest against the backdrop of the Olympia, WA Post Punk and Riot Girl movements of the early 90's. It details the joys and tragedies of three young friends who rise above their surroundings to form a band called KARP.

STILL BEFORE An intimate portrait of San Francisco quartet Oxbow, recorded by their former booking agent, Swiss born sound artist Manuel Liebeskind, during two weeks in Europe, late 2009. Liebeskind attempts to uncover the grinding obsessions, and the underpinning thought process behind making and playing music that embraces art as though its life depended on it. Filmed entirely on an iPhone with a 640x480 pixel resolution, Still Before is a tour diary documentary in full feature length.

59 year old Esko Lonnberg is showcasing his first film project about experimental rock band Circle. Leaving behind his middleclass job in Sweden, Esko returns to his hometown of Pori, Finland to take up his passion in film making. The shooting for the Circle movie mostly takes place in the countryside where the band are recording their upcoming album. Besides being an account of filmmaking, Man with a Video Camera is a film about the significance of choices in life and their consequences. Illlustration by Matthew Gorman Frame illustration by Aradhana Mehmi

KIDS GIGS: Lucky Dragons and The Berg Sans Nipple It’s hard to imagine two more perfect bands to play our Supersonic Kids Gigs than Lucky Dragons and The Berg Sans Nipple. These will rule! If everyone isn’t running around clapping and smiling in five minutes, we’ll need to think about refunds. Lucky Dragons are all about people coming together to make sound, to make an event, to make something new and joyous. It’s not by accident that they refer to their live shows as ‘actions’. They encourage participation and this Supersonic live show promises to be all about (re)discovery and (re)turning to play, to learn about ourselves and make new connections. Have a look at more Lucky Dragons films on their website (link below). The Berg Sans Nipple are a Frenchman and a Nebraskan. With two drums, synths, samples, a ton of percussion and vocals, their sounds hop-skip past each other, caught in devastatingly beautiful melodies held tight by a mind bending rhythm section. Their new video, Changing the Shape, is a fantastic twist on the age-old game of exquisite corpse where an image or story is built up person-by-person using instinct and imagination. This time, each filmmaker created a short segment before passing it on to the next filmmaker, who couldn’t see what had been created earlier. By David Armes

Let’s play!

Illustration by Chris Cowdrill Berg Sans Nipple: Lucky Dragons:

Supersonic Memories With Supersonic now fast approaching its ninth(!) annual instalment, it can now boast a cumulative roster of artists that have graced its stages that reads like a who’s who of the avant garde, the idiosyncratic and of course the extreme. Everybody who has attended the festival in the past has their own list of highlights, and this feature lists just a handful of memorable moments from the past. My own abiding memory was the very first instalment of Supersonic, back in 2003 where my band Deadsunrising opened the whole thing. We’d been a regular fixture at Capsule gigs supporting the likes of Cave In, and at the time Supersonic just appeared to be another Capsule show but on a much larger scale than usual. We had no idea of the success it would achieve since then. Although, for this instalment the pool hadn’t been drained, so we took to the stage and played to a massive pool of water with the crowd huddled around the sides. We’d garnered a reputation for playing really energetic gigs (or being stupid West Brom bastards) and I remember Lisa & Jenny pleading with us before we played not to end up in the water and subsequently electrocute ourselves and the audience. Thankfully this never happened, although for some reason I found it funny to play Illustration by Lee Mason in just my pants, and at the end of our set we all ended up having a wrestling match. Such chaos has been carried on throughout the years, with the High on Fire appearance in 2006, one such example. On the back of their marauding ‘Blessed Black Wings’ opus, the small stage saw a raging mosh pit develop in front of it and a number of stagedivers hurling themselves back into the maelstrom. Although, as Rebecca Laverty of Pioneer Music Press remembers, some divers had more success than others: “the bit where Darren Donovan (Sally, ex-Mistress) ‘stage dived’ e

e and cracked his spine on the edge of the stage. He went “wrarrrfgggghhhh” and carried on moshing”. If it wasn’t the fans working themselves into a lather, it was the band themselves. Three years later, Israeli garage-rock mentalists Monotonix reapproximated the carnage but with themselves taking centre stage, playing the drums atop the audience’s outstretched hands, clad in almost-obscene, boys-out-of-the-barracks shorts. It was a performance as gymnastic as it was rocking, or as Kerrang! DJ Johnny Doom puts it, “I’ve never seen a band whip up a crowd with such silliness and audience participation. That crazy band in the shorts…” The mixture of new and established acts is an annual positive for the festival. We’ve seen the likes of Battles, Chrome Hoof and Zu make rapturously received introductory appearances, leading to return appearances at subsequent editions. We’ve also seen performances from acts some of us would never have thought possible, with the last few years taking in sets from the likes of Swans, Godflesh, Harvey Milk, and Goblin. As Supersonic attendee Naila Kauser remembers, “The highlight of Supersonic is the US Maple show [in 2007]. I wasn't expecting them to get a big crowd at Supersonic, so it was pretty surprising to see The Medicine Bar pretty much rammed when they were on. And they really did exceed my expectations of what I imagined them to be live. A brilliant memory.” One of Supersonic’s best qualities is the fact that within a matter of hours, you can see one of your all-time favourite acts, swiftly followed by surely your new favourite act. And with the likes of Wolves in the Throne Room and Electric Wizard making long-awaited Supersonic debuts, William Bennett’s post-Whitehouse project Cut Hands, and the debut UK performance of Turbonegro with new frontman Tony Sylvester at the helm, there will be many future highlights to come.


By Duncan Wilkins

BLOOD CEREMONY 9th October, Hare & Hounds Doom/Prog outfit Blood Ceremony will provide a pre-Supersonic taster to those eagerly awaiting the festival.

MELVINS 1st November, HMV Institute

The theatrical Canadian four-piece explore horror and occult themes through their vintage analogue technology. Reminiscing back to the 70s psychedelic era, and combining it with metal.

Los Angeles-based Melvins bring their enenergetic grunge to the stage of Birmingham. After forming in 1983, the three piece became well known as being the first post-punk band to include a sludgy darkness into their sound. Which additionaly resulted in influencing the By Ross Cotton likes of Nirvana.

Illustrations by Craig Earp

A guide to brum Charlotte Westwood talks us through some of the best places to check out while you’re in Brum.

RECORD SHOPS Polar Bear Records - York Rd, Kings Heath Polar Bear provides a wide selection of both new and used vinyl and cd’s, and sells music across all genres, from avant garde to metal to jazz.

Swordfish Records - Temple St, City Centre Situated in the city centre just off New Street, Swordfish offers a wide selection of both new and second-hand records and cd’s.

The Diskery - Bromsgrove St, City Centre The Diskery is certainly a bit of a hidden gem. This small yet packed record shop provides a real treat for those who have a fair bit of time to root through the masses of vinyl.

Music Video Exchange - Smallbrook Queensway, City Centre Probably the record shop with the biggest range in Birmingham. Selling vinyl, cd’s and even books and comics, you’re more than likely to find what you’re after. Don’t forget to check out the bargain basement too, there’s hundreds of vinyl from just 10p.

PUBS Hare & Hounds - York Rd, Kings Heath Providing a lively atmosphere and mouthwatering food, this fantastic live venue, hosts an array of entertainment from gigs to quiz nights and even a knitting group.


e The Prince of Wales - Alcester Rd, Moseley Find your way through to the astonishing garden and you’ll see what the fuss is all about. The extraordinary beach-themed surroundings (including sand!) allow you to enjoy a wide variety of cocktails remarkably served from an authentic beach hut.

Cherry Reds - York Rd, Kings Heath Not a pub as such, but a quirky little café, surprisingly licensed to serve alcoholic drinks. With a magnificent range of food including vegetarian and vegan there is certainly something to cater for everyone’s tastes. Look out for the regular open mic sessions too, showcasing an array of music talent and even poetry.

Jekyll & Hyde - Steelhouse Lane, City Centre Offering a wide choice of food and drink, including a vast array of cocktails, as well as providing weekly entertainment such as film and quiz nights. There’s also happy hour on cocktails from 4-7 and all day Saturday, meaning you can get selected cocktails off the menu for just £4.

VINTAGE CLOTHES Cow - Digbeth High St Just a short walk away from the city centre, Cow sells quality vintage clothes at reasonable prices. Being quite a large store, Cow provides a vast array of clothing for those who are willing to search for a bargain.

Urban Village - Digbeth High St Based in The Custard Factory, this intriguing shop is almost like stepping back in time, and is packed full of retro treats, from the 70s décor, to a decent vinyl range, and even fascinating toys from the 70s and 80s.

Illlustrations by Matthew Gorman

cherry clafoutis Illustrations by Jamila Walker

Recipe by Richard Dowsett

This is a deceptively simple French baked dessert, normally made with cherries but can be made with any other sweet and tart stone fruit, such as halved plums, or even apples and pears, but I think it is best with cherries. Serves 6


500g cherries, preferably black 2tb kirsch (optional) 160g caster sugar 110g plain flour 4 eggs 95g unsalted butter, room temperature 320ml milk or double or whipping cream 1 lemon, finely zested Sea Salt Vanilla Essence 30g flaked almonds (optional)

1. Mix together the cherries, kirsch and 15g/1tb of caster sugar and marinade for 2 hours. 2. Melt 1tb of the butter and coat the inside of a 20cm baking tray/cake dish (must be at least 5cm deep), sprinkle 45g/3tb of caster sugar over the butter coating. Heat the oven to 180C 3. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, 4 eggs, remaining caster sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla essence, 1 good pinch of salt and the lemon zest and combine. 4. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the milk/cream and the butter to the mixture and fold into the batter lightly. Add the cherries and their marinade to the batter. 5. Pour the mixture into your baking dish and scatter the flaked almonds over the top, if using. Bake for around 30 minutes - it's done when an inserted knife comes out clean. 6. Dust lightly with some sugar and serve whilst warm, possibly with a little cream on the side.


Artist: Wolves in the Throne Room Song: Dea Artio Album: Two Hunters Artist: A.P.A.T.T Song: Purple Ackee Album: Stig Noise Soundsytem Vs a.P.A.t.T. Artist: Lucky Dragons Song: I Keep Waiting For Earthquakes Album: Dream Island Laughing Language Artist: The Skull Defekts Song: No More Always Album: Peer Amid Artist: White Hills Song: Ulan Album: White Hills Artist: Bardo Pond Song: Destroying Angel Album: Peel Session Artist: Scorn Song: Name’s Not Down Not Coming In Album: Yozza EP

Illustrations by Gareth Courage

Playlist by Brumcast. For the full playlist, check out:

Supersonic Festival 2011 zine  

With our annual festival fast approaching, this Capsule zine is dedicated to all things Supersonic. Each year we have a right old knees up,...

Supersonic Festival 2011 zine  

With our annual festival fast approaching, this Capsule zine is dedicated to all things Supersonic. Each year we have a right old knees up,...